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How did Hamilton decline so quickly? Serious Question


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Last Season:

 

.285, .354, .577, .930 total

 

.289, .358, .579, .937  home

 

.280, .349, .574, .924 away

 

This Season

 

.221, .277, .409, .685 total

 

.231, .282, .412, .694 home

 

.213, .272, .406, .678 away

 

I really don't understand.  His numbers are similar whether he's playing at home or away.  He didn't change leagues like Pujols.  Only real difference is that he's facing Ranger pitchers instead of Angel pitchers, which can account for a little bit of a drop, but not 245 points on his OPS.  Pujols ended up having a respectable year last year.  Hamilton has been absolutely terrible.  Was he juicing?  Was he just pressing too much?  Are the Angel coaches that much worse than the Rangers?  Maybe one of you sabrenerds can explain.  But, considering we have to see this guy for 4 more seasons in an Angel uniform, I REALLY hope he can turn this around. 

 

 

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Seems moreso that players with his plate discipline(or lack thereof) tend to fall off more quickly and suddenly compared to those who know how to work the count. The older you get, the more your natural ability starts to decline. He most likely isn't hitting the ball with as much authority as he used to on certain pitches. Vlad started to fall off pretty quickly, meanwhile guys like Berkman, Ortiz, etc have still been productive well into their late 30's due to having good eyes at the plate.

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He's not hitting those fastballs he used to drive. He's fouling them off, we've seen it a ton recently. It might be because he's trying to adjust to all the off speed he's seen this year. But that's the wrong thing to do. He needs to stay on and look for the fastball, and let everything else go instead of trying to keep hitting junk. But he obviously can't do it so far. It really seems like something happened physically with his vision.

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The more I read about juicing, the more I believe that the usage is/was far more prevalent than any of us considered.  We know that the biggest motivation in the game is money and if detection of PEDs is very difficult, it is understandable that MLB players used.  If a player has reasonable numbers, but not spectacular numbers he can expect to be paid around $10 million per year.  If juiced, the player can be paid almost twice that amount.  And MLB's answer is a 50 game suspension and a slap on the wrist.  So why wouldn't a player use?  You are way ahead money-wise.

 

Look at David Ortiz' upswing?  Of course he's juicing.  Just like what it meant for Clemens and Bartolo Colon.  Melky Cabrera.  Ryan Braun.  It goes on and on.  Hamilton signed a guaranteed contract.  He has used drugs before.  Can anyone say they would be surprised if he confessed to using during those great years?

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Sometimes good players just have down years, especially with the added pressures of playing with a new team.  The PED angle certainly has legs given his history, but I'll reserve judgment until we're a ways into next season.  

 

Jayson Werth is a guy who jumps to mind that completely sucked in his first year of a big contract with a new team.  Turns out that year was an aberration rather than a decline, as he's a .900 OPS hitter again this year.

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Information that I know and believe to be true, but I certainly won't bother backing up.  

 

When Elvis Andrus was traded from Atlanta to Texas, he began using deer antler velvet, which as we can see by his numbers between the two organizations, had a profound effect on his performance.  When he arrived at the big league level in 2009, he began getting his teammates into it and this was the actual origination behind that little deer antler celebration thing the Rangers players did, though they certainly tell a different story. 

 

Ian Kinsler's HR totals between 2008 and 2009 almost doubled, Nelson Cruz went from 27 year old minor league journeyman in 2008 to MLB All-star in 2009, Hamilton was hurt and started using in 2010, which was the year he just happened to hit .359, Marlon Byrd doubled the amount of extra base hits he had between 2008 and 2009 and rolled that into a big payday with the Cubs, Hank Blalock, who was a former user himself had one last hurrah and hit 25 HR's, which was his highest total in 5 years.  

 

This last part I'm guessing about though.  I think Hamilton probably stopped using midway through last season.  He didn't want to test positive and hurt what was sure to be a huge payday.  This would help explain his terrible performance in the second half of last season, and as far as I can tell, certainly isn't using with the Angels.  But again, as I said, that last part I have no information on at all and am only guessing.  

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Hamilton was a real risky signing..........not sure why the Halos offered him the contract they did and this was said AT THE TIME OF THE SIGNING not just now as a Monday morning quarterbacking deal.

 

The Halos would have been better off to try to sign Torri to a one plus one year deal with incentives than giving Hamilton all that money -- not re-signing Torri was something clearly understood UNTIL they gave Hamilton that five year expensive deal.

 

In addition to Hamilton's well know 'risk' issues -- he's the kind of player (regardless of past issues) who tends to decline quickly...........big guy, power hitter........when the bat speed goes and the pitch recognition skills get worse.........the guy goes from decent power numbers to weak Dave Kingman type numbers --- lot of strikeouts, lower BA and still some remnants of power but few and far between so that the hits he gets are HRs.......but not many of those.......

 

we've got four more years of this guy.

 

and then there's his defensive play in the field......he's made some stellar plays in the OF in the past, even this year, perhaps........but then he makes some real bone-headed ones, too, illustrating, perhaps, that the highly publicized dropped fly ball in CF vs. the Giants a few years back may not just be an isolated occurrence -- the field play -- more than perhaps his ABs seem to show how he can really lose focus at times.

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Physically it doesn't appear as though Hamilton's missing anything.  His swing is just as quick, he's actually running faster than he has a in a couple seasons.  His defense is still excellent in my mind.  I think this really comes down to the fact that he's playing honestly and his approach is is terrible.  

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It's not uncommon that a great player has a bad year. It will take more than 1 bad year before I start claiming "a quick decline".

 

I might buy this if it weren't for the awful mechanics. It's appears pretty much as Sneaky Flute  described it: He has already decided to swing at a particular pitch before it leaves the pitcher's hand, regardless of location. He looks like me trying to hit a major league pitcher. He is waving weakly at pitches well out of the strike zone. Were he swinging hard and just barely missing, I might have more faith that an adjustment would yield a better result. He looks completely lost at the plate.

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Well the weight is likely a result of his new diet.  Gluten-free really is an excellent diet for those looking to cut weight or maintain leaner muscle mass.  Plus Hamilton is a rather spiritual man and if he believes God wants him to eat a certain way, he seems more driven that most to follow this. 

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Seems moreso that players with his plate discipline(or lack thereof) tend to fall off more quickly and suddenly compared to those who know how to work the count. The older you get, the more your natural ability starts to decline. He most likely isn't hitting the ball with as much authority as he used to on certain pitches. Vlad started to fall off pretty quickly, meanwhile guys like Berkman, Ortiz, etc have still been productive well into their late 30's due to having good eyes at the plate.

 

If that's the case, why did Dipoto sign him?  I thought Dipoto's offensive philosophy favored acquiring hitters with good plate discipline

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